Whitehall officials are stumping up £30 million in public support for a trio of UK battery innovators seeking to deploy longer-term power storage for industrial users & for Britain’s accelerated electrification.

Clean storage firms Invinity Energy & Technostor, both Scottish, and Nottingham’s Cheescake Energy have qualified for D-ESNZ’s recognition in the latest round of former ministry D-BEIS’s £69 million demonstrator competition for Longer Duration Energy Storage (LODES).  The contest is itself a unit of the government’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio.

The winners’ offerings are:

  • Invinity Energy receives £11 million to develop and manufacture their 7MW, 30MWh 4-hour Vanadium Flow Battery (VFB), the largest in the UK.  Invinity will manufacture its 30 MWh VFB in West Lothian.
  • Edinburgh-based Synchrostor benefits from £9.4 million to build a pumped thermal energy storage (PTES) grid-connected demonstrator operating at 1MW.  Its charge/discharge cycle is configured for ten hours, longer than existing battery technology
  • Cheesecake Energy will receive £9.4 million to test its FlexiTanker technology. This stores electricity using a combination of thermal and compressed air energy storage. Its core is a reversible air compression / expansion train, aiding discharge and charging.  Pilot units are destined for installation at two sites on a microgrid development in Colchester.

Ministers believe flexibility provided by electricity storage, such as by innovators such as these winners and by V2G charging of EVs, could save consumers up to £10 billion per year by 2050.

Accelerating the uptake of storage technology will also mean privatised National Grid ESO can balance the grid by activating storage systems, instead of asking renewables generators to curtail output, further reducing costs to the taxpayer.

Energy minister Graham Stuart commented : “Storing energy for longer periods is vital to build a robust and secure energy system and ensure that renewable energy is used efficiently. Fortunately the UK has a wealth of pioneering businesses that are making their mark on this industry.

“We’re backing three UK businesses to make their projects a reality, which will go on to play a role in our country’s energy security”.

The LODES competition was conducted in two phases, and across two streams, both designed to accommodate technologies at different stages of development. Stream 1 supported demonstrations of technologies proposed , and Stream 2 supported working prototypes.

Global business leaders are eager to drive utility-scale power reserves beyond the meagre two-hour horizons typifying current technology.   Via their Long Duration Energy Storage Council, consultants McKinsey nurture industrialists’ desire for advancement of storage up to 24 hours & beyond.


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